Bahrain likely to reduce voting age


The parliamentary legal affairs panel approved on Monday a proposal for making amendments in political rights law of 2002 to bring down the voting age by one year.

The proposal was tabled by MP Abdullah Al Dosairi to include more youth in the decision-making process. While reviewing the proposal on Monday, the representatives of the Ministry of Justice and Islamic Affairs voiced their concern that the youth could be exploited by some politicians. They could divert their attention from their studies and get them engaged in their ‘hidden’ agendas.

However, a Member of Bahrain Youth Society, Sayed Adnan Jalal, was optimistic about the reduction of the voting age by one year.

He told Khaleej Times on Monday that the society had reached a mutual agreement with the leadership in 2006 to bring down the voting age in ‘phases’, as in the last elections, the voting age was reduced from 21 to 20. Now it will come to 19 in 2010 and finally 18 in 2014 elections.

“We had met His Majesty the King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa before the amendments of the political rights law in 2006 and he revealed the plan is also supported by the government,” Jalal said.

Jalal said the Kingdom and citizens would have better democratic experience in some years, so even 18 years citizens should be given their political rights. “Giving such right to youth will associate themselves in the decision-making and make them more responsible,” Jalal said.


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